16 June 2013

The first proper homestay (day 41)

I am here: 41 20.422 N 72 55.269 E at 1517m as of 04/06/2013 16:10 BST http://maps.google.com/maps?q=loc:41.34037,72.92116

Day 41.

Our sleeping place for the night was a homestay, which unlike the one in Georgia was actually someone's home, where a little space had been given over to housing visitors. After spending too long in hotels in Uzbekistan it was nice to be somewhere a lot more simple. And simple it was.

When we arrived there was no electricity as a storm had taken the power out again, but this wasn't a real issue - dinner (something Olly had arranged for us as he knew we'd be late in because of the roadblock) was cooked on wood powered ovens, as was all the other food.

Never underestimate just how good a cuppa (+ bread & honey) is after an eventful day.

Whilst waiting for the food to be prepared another storm rolled in - 30 minutes of driving rain, big thunder & lightning, howling winds - I stood in a sheltered spot by the kitchen and watched it all; nature having a bit of a show, all surrounded by the mountains (which makes the thunder sound so much more).

Thankfully we had power (generators, I think) to not eat in the dark, but we lost power again not long after - cue another round of storm watching, which was even more stormy than the previous. I don't think I've seen horizontal lightning before.

Day 42 (5 June 2013)
Olly went off early to arrange more alternative transport, as Daisy hadn't arrived overnight and we needed to be able to carry on with the schedule as much as we could.
The group spent the day doing a half day walk, not hike, up and around the local hills.
Stunning views, as you'd expect, and good fun, if wet - we got caught in a storm on the way down and got soaked; my jacket kept the top half of me dry, but my waterproof trousers were used to protect my camera.

Our guide for the day wasn't our normal guide for Kyrgyzstan, he'd gone with Olly to help get transport, and he'd not really judged the capability of the group or kept a good enough eye on those of us towards the back of the fairly spread-out group.
I turn around expecting to see the 4 people behind me who are the last 4 and they're not there - waiting for 5+ min and they still aren't in sight. A quick run to catch up with the rest of the group to double check they'd not past me and they hadn't - man down. Bugger.
Que some quick backtracking to where they were last seen, with the guide going another way to see if they'd taken a wrong turn in to town.
Thankfully they turned up as I approached where I'd last seen them - they'd taken a wrong turn, but not the one the guide thought they might of.

Today's lesson - keep a better eye on those behind you in the group and make sure you don't lose visibility of people when you've got a spread out group.